respect your local refereeThe Wisconsin Rugby Referee Society has announced an upcoming Level 1 Referee Course on Sunday, September 20 in Milwaukee, Wis.

Rugby Referee Level 1 Officiating 15s Course in Milwaukee, WI

Sunday, September 20th, 2015

8:30 am to 5:00 pm. The course starts promptly at 8:30 a.m. Please plan accordingly. Lunch will be provided.

Anodyne Coffee Roasting
224 W Bruce St
Milwaukee, WI 53204

Wear comfortable clothes and shoes suitable for outdoor practical work.

Educators: Steve Midthun, Lead.
*Please email Steve () confirming your registration

Eligibility: All students must be CIPP registered members of USA Rugby (September 2015-August 2016 membership year) to participate in the course. If you are a Player, Coach, or Administrator you also need to be registered as a Referee.

Course Registration: Registration and payment of the course fee ($60) is only available online at (You may register and pay upon arrival for the same $60.) Find this course listed by date, type of course, and location and click on Register. Note: Onsite registration will be accepted, but will be $90. Registration will be closed midnight, Sunday, September 13th.

After registering for the course, email the registration receipt to the Lead Educator, Steve Midthun (). The Educators need your registration receipt and email address for pre-course planning and communication to participants.

PRIOR TO THE COURSE, complete the following free online courses:
● World Rugby law exam at
● Rugby Ready program at
● National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Concussion Training at

Download the certificates provided by World Rugby/IRB and NFHS, and email them to Steve Midthun ().

Course Certification Requirements:
● Current USA Rugby membership (2015-2016), including registration as a Referee.
The “system” allows you to have joint registration, e.g. as a Player and as a Referee.
● Completion of (includes emailing course completion certificates to the Educators):
o World Rugby law exam
o Rugby Ready program
o NFHS Concussion Training
● Attend and successfully participate in all course modules.

Description: This is the entry or introductory level course to rugby refereeing. The purpose is to enable officials to acquire basic skills to officiate safe, enjoyable competition. Course certification is required for anyone who wishes to referee any match that could potentially lead to a National Championship.

The course focuses on: Game knowledge, role of the referee, planning, principles of Rugby, referee preparation, game management, risk management, and how to have fun as a Rugby referee.

Original team photo of Wisconsin Women's Rugby circa 1976

The first-ever team photo of the Wisconsin Women's Rugby team, taken at a tournament in 1976.

Hard to believe, but the Wisconsin Women's Rugby team will be celebrating 40 years as a club this weekend during an alumni celebration. One of the nation's oldest teams, the Wisconsin Women were founded in 1975 in Madison, Wis., with local women from the city and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

In those four decades, the team has seen much success both on and off the pitch. Wisconsin was one of the Midwest's top teams throughout the 1970s and 1980s, before growing into a team regularly seen at nationals in the 1990s and early 2000s. Wisconsin has also been well represented by alumni in the Midwest and National all-star pools, including placing three teammates - Shari Dahlberg, Cynthia Gehrke, and Phaidra Knight - on the 2002 USA Women's World Cup team. More recently, Wisconsin counts two teammates in the national player pools as Grace Hovde and Melissa Polheber are regularly invited to elite camps.

The team has also transitioned successfully as women's rugby has grown and expanded competitively in the United States. Once competing as a single team, the club grew into both the current Division 2 senior women's club and the Division 1 collegiate team, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Women. The UW Women have thrived on the collegiate scene as one of the largest and most competitive clubs in the state, now competing in a Midwest league against other Division 1 programs. 

For the senior women's club, 2015 has been especially memorable as the team earned the club's first USA Rugby National Championship this past June and continues to be a dominant force in the Midwest. The senior club's current roster also speaks volumes of the young rugby talent in Wisconsin, as nearly every women's collegiate club is represented.

The two Madison women's teams will host a joint alumni celebration this weekend including alumni festivities at the Wisconsin Rugby Sports Complex in Cottage Grove, Wis., on Saturday. The UW Women will play alumni from both clubs at 11:30 a.m., followed by a competitive match between the Wisconsin Women and the Chicago Women (Division 1) at 1:00 p.m.

Wisconsin Women with national championship trophy

The Wisconsin Women's Rugby team hoists the USA Rugby National Championship trophy, June 2015.

Wisconsin Rugby Club Flavio Chuahy

Wisconsin Rugby Club prop Flavio Chuahy takes on an Atlanta Old White flanker during the 2015 USA Rugby East semifinal in Charlotte, North Carolina. Wisconsin won the match 24-15 to qualify for the national final. The WRC finished the season second in the nation overall. (Photo by Evan Lappen)

The Midwest men's division 2 club leagues have posted their Fall 2015 schedules and Wisconsin will now count two teams in the always physical Western bracket.

The league will welcome one of the Midwest's toughest Division 3 competitors last year, Green Bay, up to D2 competition for this fall. The Celtics not only climb a division to test their mettle, but will also add a Division 4 team in the Midwest.

Hailing from Madison, the Wisconsin Rugby Club finished last year as the 2015 USA Rugby national runners-up in Division 2. They'll remain in Division 2 this year and look to several younger players to help the club continue to build a legacy of success in the state's capitol.

Green Bay Rugby Cory Holmes
Green Bay's Cory Holmes attacks the opposition's backline in a playoff match last spring.

Rounding out the Western league, Green Bay and Wisconsin will be joined by three Minnesota clubs - Eastside Banshees, Metropolis II, and the St. Paul Jazz Pigs.

Our two local teams kick off fall action right away this weekend with a match at the Wisconsin Rugby Sports Complex in Cottage Grove.

D2 westernleague


Milwaukee Barbarians Scrum vs. Kansas City

The Milwaukee Barbarians (right) prepare to scrum against the Kansas City Blues during a match last May.

The Midwest's top competitive league kicks off its Fall action this weekend as a number of Division 1 teams play league matches. Wisconsin's lone D1 program, the Milwaukee Barbarians, host the Palmer College Dragons at Zablocki Park near Milwaukee, Wis. this Saturday, August 29. Their Division 3 side will host the Maoris in an exhibition match as well before starting league competition in a few weeks.

Turning in an impressive season in this notably challenging league, the Barbarians finished last year's D1 regular season in fourth place overall and qualified for the Midwest playoffs before falling to eventual Midwest Champion Kansas City. Milwaukee also saw success during this summer's Midwest 7s series as the state's only team continously competing for qualification.

A full schedule of the Barbarians' matches - both D1 and D3 - can also be found online here.

Here is the Midwest D1 schedule for this upcoming season:


Midwest Division 1 Schedule


Last year's Midwest Division 4 champions, the Milwaukee RFC, has climbed up to Division 3 this Fall.

Our local men's division 3 senior rugby teams have shared their Fall 2015 competitive schedule. This Midwest league includes teams from Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana.

All of our state's teams - Black & Blue (Milwaukee), Fond du Lac, Milwaukee Barbarians, Milwaukee RFC, and Oconomowoc - compete in the Midwest's D3 North Division with Lincoln Park and Lake County from Illinois.

The league also sees new faces this year. Last year's Division 4 champions, Milwaukee RFC, now climb up into D3. The league loses longtime powerhouse Green Bay, as the Celtics climb to Division 2 and add a second side to the D4 league.

First matches kick off this Saturday as Oconomowoc hosts Milwaukee RFC and Black and Blue travel to Lake County in Gurnee, Illinois.

Men's Division 3 Schedule